Preparator

Addison Gallery of American Art

The Addison Gallery of American Art seeks a full-time Preparator. Under the direction of the Senior Preparator, the Preparator is responsible for the overall safe and efficient internal movement, housing, and installation of collections and loan objects as well as maintaining professional museum standards of care and maintenance of permanent collection objects, storage, and exhibition spaces. Works as part of a team in the Prep department, as well as closely with staff from other departments and outside contractors.

About the Addison Gallery of American Art

One of the first institutions dedicated exclusively to American art, the Addison Gallery has one of the most important collections of American art in the world. Through the museum’s collection of over 25,000 works across all media, visitors can trace the cultural, political, and social forces that have shaped the American experience from the 18th century to the present. In a typical year, the museum presents 12-15 shows, including both permanent collection installations and major traveling exhibitions, carefully balanced to represent a wide range of art, across time and media. A teaching museum located on the campus of a secondary school, the Addison Gallery serves not only as an educational resource for Phillips Academy but as a cultural and educational center of American art for local, regional, national, and international audiences. The museum is free and open to the public.

Responsibilities

Essential Functions

  • Prepare and protect objects for handling and movement within the museum, for in-house exhibitions, and for travel to other institutions, including but not limited to framing and unframing, cutting window mats, hinging artwork, creating custom enclosures

  • Execute all aspects of installation and deinstallation of museum exhibitions: preparation of galleries including painting and minor construction; unpack, prepare, install, deinstall, and repack art objects (paintings, sculpture, photographs, works on paper, video and installation-based works) survey object condition and conduct minor cleaning and conservation treatments as necessary

  • Create and maintain lighting in exhibition spaces, including initial lighting of exhibitions; changing bulbs and fixtures as needed; ensuring that lamps remain properly focused; and maintaining inventory of lighting supplies

  • Become familiar with the collection in order to evaluate and address specific handling and storage needs and, if applicable, loan restrictions

  • Monitor the condition of art objects in storage and on exhibit; design and execute specialized supports for proper storage of art objects to promote their long-term preservation

  • Organize and maintain art storage, including data entry for location changes in museum database

  • Collaborate with curators, registrars, and others as required to support the production of exhibitions, installations, and loans and collection condition, procedures, and policies.

  • Maintain inventory of tools, equipment, and supplies for exhibition preparation and collections maintenance; submit requests for supplies and materials as needed to supervisor

  • Act as courier for artwork lent domestically and internationally understanding and applying professional standards and conservation protocols and with the responsibility for art during transit and safe installation

  • Perform routine dusting and cleaning in galleries

  • Research materials and develop fabrication techniques and strategies. Keep abreast of latest developments in storage and display solutions through professional publications, courses, and conferences

Requirements

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in art related field or equivalent knowledge and experience

  • At least three years of practical experience in art handling and preparation of artwork in a museum environment

  • Demonstrated experience handling paintings, sculpture, photographs and works on paper preferred

  • Ability to work proactively, anticipate needs and work well both under direction as well as be self-directed, taking initiative as needed

  • Comfort with working with high-value artworks

  • Knowledge of conservation concerns, archival materials, and museum storage and installation standards

  • Familiarity with the latest in field practices and techniques

  • Excellent communication skills and ability to work collaboratively as part of a team.

  • Proficiency with computerized collection databases; Gallery Systems’ EmbARK database preferred.

Physical Ability Standards:

  • Ability to ascend and descend stairs and tall ladders, and walk distances

  • Ability to lift up to 60 pounds individually and up to 100 pounds with assistance, on an occasional to frequent basis

  • Ability to operate electric Genie Scissor Lift

  • Ability to manipulate small parts, machine controls, and various hand tools on a frequent basis.

  • Ability to work with moderate noise, dust/dirt levels on occasions